Major takeaways from 2023 New York Fashion Week


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Carla Paz, Staff Writer

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) 2023 was hosted from Feb. 9 to Feb. 15, featuring fashion houses Rodarte, Christian Siriano, Heron Preston, Jason Wu and Thom Browne. Celebrities like Ice Spice, Quinta Brunson, Julia Fox and Lindsay Lohan were front row for many of the collections. 

The week-long event began with collections from Christian Siriano and Victor de Souza. Siriano’s collection was inspired by the old Hollywood icon Aubrey Hepburn, and the runway was decked out with roses, described by the brand to be “Aubrey Hepburn’s rose garden at midnight.” Instead of taking a minimalist approach, the brand created elegant and timeless silhouettes, with models of all body types walking down the runway. 

Victor de Souza’s ready-to-wear collection was shown hours after, following the inspiration of the past. A myriad of eras, such as old Hollywood in the ‘50s, 1900s Paris and the Victorian Era, inspired the collection. Despite looking toward the past for inspiration, the pieces still hold interest in the future of fashion. 

The two standouts of the Feb. 10 lineup were Rodarte and Dion Lee. The day started off with Rodarte’s gothic and grandeur collection. Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sister duo who founded the label, were inspired by their previous work creating the costumes for the film “Black Swan” and the “balletcore” trend that has taken over TikTok. Some of Rodarte’s signatures, such as ruffles, ribbons and lace, were used throughout the collection but with a dark twist. The standout piece from the collection were tinsel mid-length dresses with trains about 20 feet in length. Sitting in the front row were Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, Brie Larson, Quinta Brunson, Lana Condor and Maddie Ziegler. 

Dion Lee took the luxury party-esque brand and made it mature. The brand is known to be a staple in the wardrobes of the New York party elite and celebrities. The head designer and brand’s namesake, Dion Lee, made his pieces to be balanced between sexiness and maturity. All the outfits had a reptile skin motif, representing “the shedding of skin” and evolution. 

Feb. 11 saw the debut of Heron Preston, a New York streetwear favorite. Preston, who was originally a DJ, used his background to create clubwear with a New York streetwear twist. Preston made all of the pieces upcycled for this collection, which he named “Less Environmentally Destructive” (L.E.D), keeping to streetwear’s roots as upcycled clothing. Many of the pieces have garbage from around the city that has been repurposed to become clothing. 

On Feb. 12, Jason Wu revealed his collection at the Guggenheim Museum. The music’s slow pace, composed by Sebastian Perrin, and the iconic venue made it seem like the models glided down the runway. Wu chose to tap into his talent for dressmaking and make elegant gowns that will surely be seen on red carpets for the rest of the year. One of the most prominent motifs throughout the collection was black flower print. The standout piece was an elegant black ball gown. 

Thom Browne was the standout out of Tuesday’s lineup. Despite not being part of the official CFDA lineup, Browne’s collection stood out due to its whimsical nature. The collection, inspired by the story “The Little Prince,” is the designer’s creativity at its finest. Browne made the models seem larger than life by mixing in staples of the brand, such as suits and pinstripes, with fantastical concepts straight out of a fairytale. Browne made a name for himself early in his career for his tightly tailored look. Now, the designer has wholly abandoned that in favor of an oversized look in all aspects of the look. All of the models wore oversized shoes, and a few male models had long Flo-Jo nails that curled inwards. When speaking about his creative direction, Browne said, “I always challenge myself to push it[.].”

Alexander Wang returned to the NYFW stage with a three-part collection following several sexual assault allegations. In 2020, Wang was accused of sexually assaulting up to 11 victims, ranging from influencers to models. His brand was not part of the official lineup for fashion week, but the biggest known name to walk the runway was internet personality and actress Julia Fox, who received backlash for walking in the show. Fox has since defended her decision to be part of the show and stated, “I love cancel culture, but we do need to leave room for rehabilitation and for those who put in the work and heal and learn from their mistakes,” in a TikTok comment. Anna Wintour also attended, sitting front row during the show. 

One of the most significant issues throughout many collections was the lack of inclusive clothing. Some noted Jason Wu’s collection was noted for not having a range of body types modeling his clothing. Despite the demand for inclusive clothing ranges, many brands still do not want to change their ways. Though there have been steps taken this fashion week by brands, such as Christian Siriano, to include plus-sized models and pieces, there is still a long way to go.